The People's Mayoral Forum Q&A with Raj Shukla
What is Madison's greatest challenge?
Madison's greatest challenge is whether we can grow and prosper in a way that is environmentally responsible, and true to our commitments to racial and social equity. I believe we can and have outlined my Green Growth Agenda on my website: https://www.rajshukla.com/greengrowth/
If we can focus on clean, affordable energy, scaling up birth-three supports for families, expanding our transit system and eliminating exclusionary zoning practices, we will be on our way. But we need experienced leadership that can bring people together to make progress. That's what I offer in this race.
What work have you done to mitigate Madison's racial barriers?
My city committee, the Sustainable Madison Committee, has focussed on recruiting women and people of color to our membership since I took over as chair in 2014. We have also instilled racial and social justice into the legislation we have written. Our latest proposal to implement recommendations to get to 100% renewable energy explicitly requires the Racial Equity & Social Justice Initiative Toolkit be used by the city to reach our objectives.
As the executive director at a state-wide water policy organization, I have taken similar steps. We have doubled the number of staff of color since my arrival, and re-doubled efforts to support and celebrate the work and accomplishments of tribal partners.
I have also worked with children of color in the foster care system as a Dane County Court Appointed Special Advocate. The intersection of race and poverty played out in excruciating detail during my service. The experience continues to inform my every action as a civic leader.
Why should Madison pick you?
I am one of only two candidates in this races that runs an organization -- Mayor Soglin being the other. I set a vision, manage a talented team, meet a payroll, and make the tough decisions when budgets and priorities collide.
I also bring a fresh perspective to the stale state of local politics. My reputation as a civic leader and executive rests on the foundation of being a listener who bring people together to make progress.
This city needs new energy to make a Madison that works for all of us. I offer the experience and fresh ideas to lead the city with creativity, ambition and a sense of common purpose.
YGB has heard the community's cry for deeper questions with deeper responses that get past the political answers that everyone knows. We're getting at relevance. We're getting to specifics.This is your time to ask the REAL questions and get the REAL answers from our city's potential leader. Moderated by Sagashus Livingston. Attendance is free and open to the public. The event will take place on Monday, February 11, at 6:30pm. It will be located at Madison’s Central Library at 201 W Mifflin St. 3rd floor.
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